RSS Effects on Search

RSS feeds have search engine optimization benefits for both the publisher of the feed and the syndication Web site/subscriber base. The RSS publisher receives two forms of Web traffic. First, from the natural traffic driven from the syndication Web sites/subscriber base (without the search engines).

The second form the RSS publisher receives is the search engine optimization (SEO) benefit of having their text link on the entire subscriber base's sites/blogs. Link popularity has always been an important criteria in the measurement of page rank. Here's another way of saying it. RSS publishers can have their text link on potentially thousands of relevant Web sites, which in turn could potentially drive them to the first page of the search engines, thereby generating tons of organic traffic. In order for this to have the maximum effect, the RSS publisher should optimize his RSS feeds for search. One way to do that, is to make the title and description of the XML feed keyword rich.



That's great for the RSS publisher, but what about the syndication site/blog? Do they receive any SEO benefits? Yes they do. However, the sites/blogs using RSS viewers receive less of an SEO impact. They get the SEO benefit of regularly changing content, which makes the search engine spiders visit the page more frequently and index the changes. And, besides fresh content, the content can be highly relevant to the subject matter of the site/blog. This relevant content with keyword rich hyperlinks also has a beneficial effect on SEO.

Many Web publishers are already using RSS, like the NY Times, Yahoo!, Reuters, Forbes, ClickZ, and a myriad of blogs. However, it still is in the early adoption stage. As we enter into the year 2006, I'm certain the use of RSS will become more widespread. I believe we will see a steady migration of people that will unsubscribe to e-mail newsletters and start subscribing to RSS feeds.

If you're new to this whole RSS thing and you want to jump on board, here's how: To read RSS feeds, you can download an RSS viewer and join an RSS aggregator site like FeedDemon and NewsGator. Then, just subscribe to the RSS feeds that interest you.

It seems that RSS is an up and coming channel of interactive marketing that should not be ignored. It can be used in the interactive marketing mix to increase search engine rankings, nurture and build relationships, and drive traffic from the subscriber base.

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